Accidents and Substance Abuse
Obviously, there’s a strong connection between accidents and substance abuse. Accidents are the result of risky behavior, hazardous environments, and inattention to what is going on around you. Over confidence, laziness, and fearlessness can also contribute to accidents.
Accidents and substance abuse are strongly connected because of the way that drugs and alcohol can affect the brain. Substance abuse can affect judgment, perception, and reaction time. In addition, people under the influence of drugs do not consider the consequences of their actions and behaviors, which can place both themselves and the people around them at risk of an accident.
Accidents and Substance Abuse: Injury
Accidents and substance abuse often result in injury. Impairments in reaction time, reasoning, coordination, judgment and memory as a result of alcohol or drug use increase a person’s risk of being injured. Certain substances, like alcohol, cocaine, and ecstasy and other hallucinogens, have been shown to make a person willing to take risks and become disinhibited. This affects the choices they make and the situations they become involved in. These situations can cause injuries not only for the person who is under the influence, but also for people around them. In addition, accidents and substance abuse can result in a delay in medical treatment. People under the influence of drugs and alcohol are less likely to seek medical care when they become injured, either because they are afraid of the consequences of seeking care while they are intoxicated or because they do not realize the full extent of the injury. Drugs and alcohol often mask the pain of injuries.
Accidents and Substance Abuse: Workplace Accidents
The high prevalence of accidents and substance abuse is the reason that many companies require drug tests before they will hire someone. They understand that substance abuse is the cause of accidents, injuries, and lost work time. Consider these facts:
- 40 percent of industrial fatalities are linked to substance abuse.
- 47 percent of occupational accidents can be attributed to substance abuse.
- Substance abuse often leads to theft and crime in the workplace.
Nearly 75 percent of all adult illicit drug users are employed, as are most binge and heavy alcohol users. This means that in nearly every workplace, there is a chance that there is at least one employee who has a substance abuse problem.
Workplace accidents are a serious public health issue that contributes to loss of wages, productivity, medical costs, and injury and death rates. In the United States alone, workplace injury and illnesses cost more than 100 billion annually.
Accidents and Substance Abuse: Other Accidents
Impairment by alcohol or other drugs increases the risk of both a motor vehicle accident and the severity and outcome of the injuries. Statistics show that almost 40 percent of all youth traffic fatalities are directly linked to substance abuse.
In addition, accidents and substance abuse can be linked to the manufacture of certain drugs in the home. . Methamphetamine is manufactured in home-based labs that are hazardous, toxic places with a very high risk of explosion or fires.